Champaign alternative high school proposal on table

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school board members will hear a new proposal for an alternative high school program when they meet Monday night.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

Centennial band members head to New York

CHAMPAIGN – Centennial High School band members will be performing in New York City and seeing its sights next week.

For many of the 120 students on the trip, it will be their first time in New York.

Engineering Open House display has serious message

URBANA – Champaign and Urbana students will learn about engineering when they visit the University of Illinois' Engineering Open House this weekend, and they'll also get a lesson in the dangers of distracted driving.

Students from Urbana High School and Champaign's Jefferson Middle School will attend the Engineering Open House with the help of money donated to the UI College of Engineering in memory of Matthew Wilhelm. Wilhelm had just received his master's degree in mechanical engineering in 2006 when he was struck and killed while riding his bicycle in Urbana. The woman driving the car that hit him had been downloading ring tones on her cell phone while driving.

Kids with knack for computers help classmates, teachers

CHAMPAIGN – The Edison Middle School students in the computer lab after school are making "sprites," images they'll use to play a computer game. They'll learn how to program the images to move them around in a virtual room they build.

It's not homework. The members of an after-school computer club are learning to use Game Maker software because it's fun. But it also builds their computer skills and knowledge, says Laurie Jacob, the instructional technology specialist at Edison.

Officials say in-service days having impact

URBANA – All those afternoons and days when students are off school so teachers can do professional development are paying off with better classroom teaching and learning, said Urbana officials at the Tuesday evening school board meeting.

Comparing data from several assessments as well as the pass rate for freshman courses, the district found student achievement rising. For example, the pass rate for freshmen in algebra in fall 2006 was near 70 percent. In fall 2007, that measure rose to nearly 90 percent.

Two Parkland employees take new positions

CHAMPAIGN – Two Parkland College officials have been named to new administrative offices.

Kris Young was named vice president for academic services. She has served in that position on an interim basis since July 2007.

Kids get Web site to learn about weather

URBANA – On Monday, raindrops didn't seem too hard to catch – it was avoiding them that required some skill (or good raingear, anyway).

But catching virtual raindrops can be a little trickier.

DACC center puts emphasis on success

DANVILLE – When Chelsea Booher first visited Danville Area Community College's Student Success Center, she knew the center offered tutoring to first-generation college students like herself.

But she didn't know the center also offered counseling; workshops on managing time and stress, taking tests and other topics; even visits to four-year colleges.

DACC program aims to help low-income residents

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College will host the 10th annual ENRICH program for low-income residents on March 14.

The program will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Vermilion Hall's Room 306 on DACC's main campus, 2000 E. Main St.

Parkland program receives honors for its excellence

CHAMPAIGN – A center at Parkland College that helps students develop their academic skills is one of eight programs in the nation being recognized as exemplary community college programs.

Parkland's Center for Academic Success brings together several services to help students learn study skills, prepare for taking college-level courses if they are not at that level yet, and get tutoring help